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Education Tax Refund

The Education Tax Refund – also referred to as the Education Tax Rebate – was replaced on an ongoing basis by the School Kids Bonus from 1 January 2013 (which has also subsequently bitten the dust).

Final Lump Sum ETR Payment

As part of the phasing out arrangements of the Education Tax Refund, a lump sum payment for the 2011-12 entitlement was paid in June 2012. The one-off lump sum payments are for:

  • primary school kids – $409 each
  • secondary school kids $818 each

The basis of entitlement to the lump sum payments is having had approval for Family Tax Benefit Part A from the Family Assistance Office.

The Education Tax Refund was a refundable tax offset which was available from the 2008-9 financial year. It’s purpose was to reimburse parents of school age children and certain independent students 50% of their school expenses.

Can I Claim My Child’s Education Expenses On My Taxes?

Short answer: No.

Government support for education has taken many forms over the years. Concessional deductions for children’s education expenses were once a feature of the tax system, as also were deductions for dependants.

Education expense deductions for dependants are no longer allowed as a deduction. This includes the expenses of home schooling, notwithstanding its significant increase during the Covid pandemic conditions.

Direct concessional deductions for dependants were also phased out, but continue indirectly as part of the calculation formulae for the zone tax offset.

Limited deductions remain for self-education expenses where there is a connection with employment, and (not education-related) the home office claim method was adjusted as part of the Covid response.

Features of the Education Tax Refund offset:

  • basic eligibility depends on having had your claim for Family Tax Benefit Part A approved by the Family Assistance Office.
  • Independent students may also have been eligible to claim if they were under the age of 25 years receiving Youth Allowance, Abstudy or payments under the Labour Market Programs, and subject to meeting assessment and other criteria.
  • for 2010-11, the offset is calculated as 50% of eligible
    • primary school expenses to a maximum of $794 for a refund of $397 per child
    • secondary school expenses to a maximum of $1,588 for a refund of $794 per child
  • eligible education expenses included
    • computers and related equipment
    • home internet connection
    • software for educational use
    • text books and stationery
    • prescribed tools of trade

A budget proposal to include school uniforms in eligible expenses was enacted to apply from the 2011-12 year, but because of the phasing out of the ETR with a final lump sum payment in June 2012, no claim is necessary.  No evidence of expenditure is required to be kept for the 2011-12 year.

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This page was last modified 2021-06-15